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The governments of South Lake County have spoken and the Lake County Commission has heard their voice. Lake County had dropped plans for a recreational complex in South Lake due to budget shortfalls.

This put an increased burden on the local governments; Mascotte, Groveland, Minneola, Clermont, and Montverde. Clermont began taking the heat two years ago when it began charging non-city residents a higher rate to use the recreational fields because of the costs. Last year it reversed that policy because the county had planned a complex that would have shared the expense.

But when the county completed a large complex in North Lake and dropped plans for South Lake, Clermont and the other cities dug their heels in. In a 3 - 2 vote the commission voted to raise the millage rate for the general fund for a total of 6.8146 and to re-instate the park project at $1.29 million.

Commissioners Sean Parks, Jimmy Conner, and Welton Cadwell voted for the park with Leslie Campione and Tim Sullivan dissenting.

"Coming together with representatives from the City of Clermont, Montverde Academy, and the South Lake Chamber of Commerce; both the mayor of Groveland and I addressed the county commissioners regarding the merit of meeting the recreational needs and supporting the economic development produced by having a Multipurpose Activities Based Regional Park that can serve local athletics and organized sports venues that will bring visitors from across the country," said Groveland City Manager Redmond Jones.

"Groveland as Lake County's fastest growing community highlighted its willingness to seek partnerships with neighboring cities, Lake County, Montverde Academy, and interested businesses to plan a park system that will benefit the region," Jones added.

"Although, it is clear this project will not be constructed in the next fiscal year, funding critically needed for planning will continue a process that started almost ten years ago. The City of Groveland is looking forward to working closely with the various stakeholders of this much needed recreational and economy growing amenity," Jones continued.

"We wanted to get the county's attention," said Clermont Councilman Keith Mullins. We encouraged the other cities to join with us in making our concerns known."

Governments of South Lake County push to have South Lake recreational complex put back in budget
Mascott, Groveland, Minneola, Clermont and Montverde pushing to get South Lake Reginal Park Project
Groveland City Manager Redmond Jones, along with representatives of other South Lake communities and the South Lake Chamber, met with county officials to have the South Lake Regional Park Project put back in the budget. The county had dropped plans for the major complex. (Photo by Mike Corradino)

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